Online ticketing: Big budget movies to bear the brunt of AP’s decision


The Andhra Pradesh Government’s decision to make it mandatory for cinema halls to sell their movie tickets through a government-run online platform is bad news for big budget movies that generally hope to rake in huge collections in the first few days of their releases.

The State Government’s decision will curb the practice of increasing the ticket prices steeply for ‘benefit shows’ or special shows in the first few days and cash in on the frenzy.

Post the pandemic, the Tollywood industry has saved some of the big budget movies for release in the upcoming festive season. The list includes Chiranjeevi-starrer Acharya, Pawan Kalyan-starrer Bheemla Nayak, and the much-awaited RRR, the multi-starrer movie (Nr NTR and Ramcharan) directed by Rajamouli, Mahesh Babu’s Sarkaru Vaari Paata, and Balakrishna’s Akhanda.

Also read: Stalin writes to Centre urging withdrawal of proposed amendment to Cinematograph Act

The producers of big budget films book almost all of the screens in a town or a city and go for additional shows, exceeding the four shows allowed according to the Cinematography Act, and hike the prices of tickets abnormally.

Amendment to curb illegal practices

According to the amendment made to the Cinematography Act by the government, the producers will have to sell the tickets online (on a site to be set up by the Govt) at the rates fixed by the government.

Explaining the rationale behind bringing in the amendment, AP Cinematography Minister Perni Nani said that some producers were screening 6-7 shows a day in violation of the Act. “They are also hiking the ticket prices to ₹500-1,000 under the guise of benefit shows,” he said.

The online ticket booking system will allow the people to buy tickets at prices regulated by the government.

Increasing ticket prices

The film industry argues that they are increasing the ticket prices in the first few days to make quick returns before the film is pirated and screened on illegal websites. “They are circulating the links of the pirated copies in social media platforms,” a film director said.

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